I’ve seen some of these resources listed and recommended on tumblr and I thought I’d compile some of my favorites for archiving here on my website. This list will be constantly updated with stuff I use and would like to try.
When it comes to figure drawing, there really is no better way of learning than drawing from life. Check with your local community college or art gallery if they have live model drawing sessions and if you’re serious about improving, carry and draw in a sketchbook everyday. The following tools aren’t meant to replace traditional means of learning (because we can all benefit from the feedback of professionals) but they are a great way to start learning, keep on your toes and warm-up before working on art.Read More»
A couple of quick links on publishing and self-publishing comics this week!
E.K. Weaver, the webcomic artist for The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal, recently compiled her work into a beautiful printed graphic novel and answered a few questions about self-publishing on tumblr. She successfully raised funds for the project through Kickstarter and is currently shipping out Volume One to her readers.
Der-Shing Helmer, known for her work on The Meek, answered a few questions on Tumblr on her experience publishing a comic through a small press publisher, 4th Dimension Entertainment. 4DE also publishes Hanna is Not a Boy’s Name, Lackadaisy and The Phoenix Requiem.
EDIT: (She’s taken the post down, sorry! Original post is here. http://alexds1.tumblr.com/post/12725055029/publishing-comics-through-a-small-publisher)
Many thanks to these ladies for sharing their experience!
Thoughts? Suggestions? Feel free to sound off below!
There’s a fantastic new resource for comic-makin’ folks called Making Comics spearheaded by reMIND creator Jason Brubaker. It even has its own podcast which I’m pretty excited for. It looks like they have a bunch of industry pros lined up for interviews and I love hearing artsy people talking about their craft. One of the guest bloggers posted a reminder about the usefulness of Photoshop actions for repetitive tasks in comics and it made me want to share my own personalized action buttons.
They’re on the simple side since I haven’t made anything more serious than a bunch of gag webcomics and a few oneshots for now. Above is a screenshot of a list of actions I use the most for comics and have been especially useful for Polterguys. Most of them are self-explanatory and usually involve creating, naming and ordering a bunch of layers designated for specific purposes. In the case of the Resize folder, I created a set of actions that lets me create a copy of a comic page, flatten, and resize for web so I can have previews of my working pages at a touch of a button. When I made the first template file for my digital thumbnails, I hit a bunch of these buttons and badabing-bada-boom, stuff got done for me! Weee!
I’m sure there’s a bunch more I haven’t thought of yet that can speed up my process. Questions? Suggestions? I’d love to hear ‘em. Sound off below.
Taking a cue from Lars Martinson and sharing a visual graphic of my progress on Polterguys Volume One.
I’m started working on pencils for the book which, in Laur-speak, just means fleshing out the stick figures on my thumbnails and refining compositions in the panels. I’ve been giving out daily previews through twitter and you can see them archived on my sketchblog here.
I’m still unhappy with how klunky some scenes still read which is why I don’t think the script/thumbnails are quite finished exactly. For the most part, the overall story has been greenlit. I just want to push the work from serviceable to poetic and I know that sounds terribly pretentious but I’m shooting for the moon here (even if I miss the stars and end up on a barn roof or something. At least, I tried!)
I’d like to have the book in my hands by July to sell at Anime Expo so I’m tentatively setting my official publication day sometime around May or June. I will be releasing the book online leading up to the release so that should be around March when I finish toning and lettering. Not sure if I’ll manage to meet these dates, but they are there to keep me motivated.
I have no idea what my chances of success are exactly but I’m thinking of applying for the final Xeric grant in February. This means I need to have the book in some sort of near-completed status by the end of that month. This also means I’m in terrible looming deadline mode through the end of this year and it’s been giving me dizzy spells of anxiety.
I’m hoping to finish off pencils this month and have the book mostly inked by the end of January. Toning is going to be an issue. I love the feel and variation digital screentones offer but at this point I’m not sure how I can incorporate it into this timetable. Would the judges accept a barely toned book? Will they even accept manga-influenced work? These are things I know I can ask around for, but I’m almost afraid to find out.
It would be really nice to have some financial support and some outside validation for the story. I’m aware there’s Kickstarter and IndieGoGo fundraising campaigns but it’s tougher to drum up enthusiasm for a beginning comic artist untested by the webcomic community and with no serious artistic professional background (like animators or animation storyboard artists have).
Despite all these anxieties, I’m really truly grateful I have the opportunity to do something like this. There’s still so much ahead of me and I honestly feel overwhelmed at the amount of things I need to keep track of to do this well. But this is what I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. This is what I daydreamed about during my day jobs and what I wish for myself when I come across fantastic stories that move me. Even if I’m not going to get everything perfectly the first time, I’m still pretty darn happy to be on this crazy journey.
Lea Salonga was twice a singing Disney princess for a very good reason. She’s incredibly good.
I had the privilege of seeing her perform at the Catalina Jazz Bar last Monday and I knew when we booked the tickets earlier, it was going to be a really special night. You see, Lea is the probably the most famous Filipina artist in the world. She not only landed the singing roles for Princess Jasmine (Aladdin, 1992) and Fa Mulan (Mulan, 1998) but also starred as the original lead for the Broadway musical Miss Saigon as well as played Éponine and Fantine in Les Misérables.
So, you can’t really blame me for going full-on geek and working up a bit of fanart to present to her like a giddy kid. ( I actually got the idea from Andreas Deja when he got a chance to meet Celine Dion.) I handed it to her after the concert and snagged a quick photo with her amongst the crowd of admirers that surrounded her.
Spending the night in her company, it became apparent how I’ve come to I admire her so much. In addition to being unbelievably talented, she’s also funny, warm and down-to-earth. When you listen to her sing, you hear her heart on the line. She gives each song and every line she utters everything and her music resonates with you. Lea gave Jasmine the joy of discovering new worlds and captured Mulan’s struggle with her identity.
I want to create art in the same way Lea sings: in service of powerful, emotional stories that can inspire generations long into the future. I want to be able to say I gave my work my everything and in the event I do achieve my dreams, I can only hope I can stay grounded and be as gracious as she had been. Not everyone who achieves great success can say it’s made them better people. Lea seems to understand how fortunate she has been and exudes an infectious positive energy- the same kind professional artists who love their work have.
At the end of the night, Lea wished everyone creative success, encouraging everyone to break down the creative blocks that stop you from becoming the best version of yourself. Little girls and budding Filipino artists like myself couldn’t ask for a better role model.
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